As you read this and the coming installments, please keep in mind these were written when Amazon, Facebook, Google, Tesla, Twitter, and Yahoo! did not yet exist.
Written: November 1993
[email protected]. The world of electronic commerce is about to explode. Soon there will be security mechanisms to enable on-line user authentication, the use of digital signatures, and the secure encryption of credit card numbers and purchase order information. Offering your goods and services for sale via the World Wide Web is a natural extension of “Get Connected” which will result from these imminent technology developments.
By effectively using the Web to display your products and services through multimedia presentation techniques, it is only natural to enable the user to CLICK HERE to order the product. Orders can be automatically transferred to your central business systems for order processing, inventory management, billing, and shipping. In the process, you have also gained the electronic mail ID of the customer and other information for future pinpoint marketing activities.
A company can achieve tremendous savings by automating elements of its order processing. Companies in a wide variety of industries have already done so. As the reliance on paper transaction documentation continues to migrate to electronic systems, even more cost savings will result. Greater numbers of these transactions will inevitably move to the Internet and be deployed on a business-to-business basis. This trend will continue to accelerate as industry groups such as CommerceNet, established in 1994 to promote electronic commerce on the Internet, apply new technology to electronic commerce.[i] Traditional order-taking staffs are already able to handle more inquiries in less time thanks to this technology. In time, more businesses will redirect these employees into more income-generating positions, as this new way of buying and selling continues to expand.
My reflections – 2022
In 1995, the National Science Foundation, which at the time had jurisdiction over what the Internet could be used for, lifted its ban on Internet commerce. Things immediately began to take off as a number of us predicted. Also in 1995, eBay burst onto the scene, and later that year Jeff Bezos shipped Amazon’s first book order. That unleashed a flood of online shopping. Businesses of all sizes and consumers took over from there. When the Census Bureau began to track e-commerce on a quarterly basis, the sales for 4Q 1999 were $4.5 billion. In the first quarter of 2005, e-commerce sales had risen to $21 billion. In the fourth quarter of 2015, sales were $83 billion. In the third quarter of 2021 e-commerce sales were nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars.
[i] “Commercenet Is an Entrepreneurial Research Institute,” commercenet, https://commerce.net/